Manchester City know they must keep themselves in a position to pounce if Premier League title favourites Liverpool slip up when they play the first of their two games in hand against bottom club Sunderland on Wednesday night.
Liverpool’s 3-2 victory at Anfield on Sunday allowed the Reds to stay clear at the top of the table and extend their advantage over third-placed City to seven points.
That will be an unbridgeable gap if Liverpool win their remaining four games to lift their first top-flight championship since 1990.
But Brendan Rodgers’s side still have to face title rivals Chelsea, giving a glimmer of hope to City who would finish top if Liverpool fail to win just one of their games and City take a maximum 18 points. Four of City’s remaining fixtures are at home, starting against a Sunderland side which has failed to win in their last nine games and who were beaten by City in the final of the League Cup at the start of March.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini has vowed to fight to the end and defender Martin Demichelis believes City still have time to overhaul Liverpool after pushing the leaders all the way in Sunday’s game in Merseyside.